Sunday, March 14, 2021


Sigh, when I don't want to write and I keep getting nudged to write, I know that there are words that need to be said and a confession to be made...  I'm 60 (no that is not the confession) and I feel like I'm on the precipice.  I could come back, like really come back or I could just be a "natural horsemanship expert" always getting ready to do something but never actually doing it. (Shhh, I'm actually not good at natural horsemanship.)

I wish I was regaling you with an awesome tale of a wild adventure... over hills at a gallop, whipping around a cross country course or captivating the world with our stunning jumping.

Well, I'm not.

Today, for the first time ever, after traveling 16.5 hours and barely caring for our bodily functions, the Cowgirl and I landed in Aiken. with our horses.  One day we're locked in an indoor, whining about 18 degree (Fahrenheit) weather and the next day it's sunny, 76 and Shanti and I are heading to the outdoor "fully prepared" for our first lesson. 

And maybe all you young things aren't phased by anything and approach things like the Cowgirl...  "let's git ur done".  Ten years of off and on writing, I can still tell you that for me, that is not the case.  And it bothers me.

Landing in what feels like summer and being outside for the first time since November was mind blowing.  Oh, let's add a new instructor and the anxiety will just wash away.

Well, it did not.

I felt assaulted by all the stimuli - horses moving about in the pastures, a dog or two playfully checking us out, a stallion calling to all the mares on the farm, her pasture mate and traveling companion calling for her.  

I was the Lil' Country Bumpkin riding an upbeat, tense horse.  She was as unfocused as I was and while I did all the "things" to bring the focus back to me.  My brain ticked off - "Is she galloping way down there?"  "Why did the horses decide to gallop around their paddocks?"  "Is that a pony in the woods?" "Is she really going to cut the grass?"  "I wish her buddy would stop calling for her."

Finally, after breathing deeply, I could let go of all the awful things that would not happen.  Anxiety has its own life cycle and breathing deeply seemed to settle it long enough to let go of its hold on me.

It was a beautiful lesson under the guidance of a skilled and kind instructor. The best thing was finally slowing the brain down to actually feel like I can ride and that Shanti and I are ok.

Coming to Aiken, getting outside was a very good decision.  Now to just put the self flagellation away and live in the gratitude of how lucky I am and maybe, just maybe, this is exactly what I need to find myself again.

Maybe it is...

1 comment:

M. Alaimo said...

Thank you for the reminder to breathe. Enjoy the weather and the ride